Saint Etienne – So Tough

Their debut album Foxbase Alpha had made a reasonable dent on the charts in late 1991 thanks to the memorable but minor hit Only Love Can Break Your Heart, and Saint Etienne had started to gain a reputation as one of the more creative forces in popular music. Second album So Tough is a pop concept album about growing up, which is such an unusual thing that it’s definitely worth a listen.

The album takes its name from a late Beach Boys album, Carl and the Passions – “So Tough”, the first track of which also provided the title of the compilation You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone, which followed later the same year.

It opens with Mario’s Cafe, which for those of you like me who can’t place exactly which song that is, it’s the one that goes “When we leave for work / Tuesday morning 10am”. It’s a pleasant pop song with just a hint at the start of the experimental sounds and samples that had stylised their debut album.

This album appeared in 1993, fifteen years ago this week, and by then, Sarah Cracknell had become a fully-fledged member. But there was still space for the pleasant instrumentals that had made up so much of the first release, so Railway Jam is an entirely appropriate inclusion at this point.

There are a few miniature breaks on here, of which Date with Spelman is the first, and then occasional collaborator Q-Tee turns up to rap on Calico, a pleasant but somewhat forgettable foray into hip hop. Then comes the glorious Avenue, released as a seven-minute single in late 1992. This was actually the opening single for this album, which may seem a little surprising until you find yourself a couple of minutes into the track, utterly captivated by it.

Then comes the huge hit single You’re in a Bad Way, which peaked at number 12 just before the album came out. While the single was augmented by samples from Brighton Rock, the album goes for the brilliant “Lose himself in London” quote from Billy Liar. It’s a great song, wonderfully catchy and with a splendid 1960s backing track, although it is just a little disappointing that the album version isn’t quite as good as the single release.

Memo to Pricey carries us through to the adorable Hobart Paving, the adorable suburban piano piece that appeared as half of a double a-side with Who Do You Think You Are as the third single from this album, and performed well on the charts.

This isn’t really Saint Etienne‘s finest work though – Leafhound is pleasant, but it doesn’t exactly go anywhere, and the chord changes seem a bit forced. Clock Milk and Conchita Martinez follow, and while you can absolutely see how they fit in with the narrative of the album, they don’t exactly stand well on their own. So it might come as something of a surprise to learn that this album, buoyed by its great singles, is actually the group’s highest-charting, having peaked at number 7.

There isn’t a huge amount left here, truth be told. No Rainbows for Me is nice, but dull to say the least. Then there’s another interlude track, Here Comes Clown Feet, and the dancey closing piece Junk the Morgue, and the album is rounded out with one last mini-track, Chicken Soup. It’s probably fair to say that things tail off a bit towards the end.

But if you take a bigger picture view, and see So Tough as the second step in Saint Etienne‘s growth as a group, which sees them starting to reach maturity over the next couple of albums, this is a strong step – the three great singles and its chart performance are definitely testament to that. It might not be the best album when you listen to it on its own, but it’s certainly an important album.

If you can, try to track down the double CD deluxe version of So Tough, which appears to still be available at the time of writing.

NME Poll Winners 1952-1992 (Part Two)

Finally, having worked through all the other categories, let’s take a look at the artist winners for the NME Polls from 1952 to 1992. As I mentioned last week, it’s hard to trace the winners of a particular category through time, so I’ve taken a few liberties. Essentially anything that seems to be roughly the same category has been treated as the same thing. Also, for the year ranges, there are a few missing years here and there, so for instance 1967-1970 could mean anything between 2 and 3 wins.

Best Newcomer

For thirty-five years, the NME Poll included a newcomer award, variously titled “World’s Most Promising New Name”, “Best New Group”, and various other things. It’s an amazing time capsule of new acts throughout the ages – who would have thought that Cliff Richard and The Stone Roses could appear on the same list?

Best New Artist

  • 1956 – Ronnie Scott
  • 1958 – Cliff Richard
  • 1959 – Craig Douglas
  • 1960 – Emile Ford
  • 1961 – John Leyton
  • 1962 – Frank Ifield
  • 1963 – Gerry Marsden
  • 1964 – Mick Jagger
  • 1965 – Seekers (group) & Donovan (solo)
  • 1966 – Spencer Davis Group (group) & Stevie Winwood (solo)
  • 1967 – Bee Gees (group) & Engelbert Humperdinck (solo)
  • 1968 – Love Affair (group & Mary Hopkins (solo)
  • 1970 – Jethro Tull
  • 1971 – McGuinness Flint (group) & Elton John (solo)
  • 1972 – New Seekers (group) & Rod Stewart (solo)
  • 1973 – Golden Earring (World) & Leo Sayer (British)
  • 1975 – Bad Company
  • 1976 – Eddie and the Hot Rods
  • 1977 – Tom Robinson
  • 1978 – Public Image Ltd.
  • 1979 – The Specials
  • 1980 – UB40
  • 1981 – Altered Images
  • 1983 – The Smiths
  • 1984 – Bronski Beat
  • 1985 – The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • 1986 – The Housemartins
  • 1987 – The Proclaimers
  • 1988 – The House of Love
  • 1989 – The Stone Roses
  • 1990 – The Charlatans
  • 1991 – Kingmaker
  • 1992 – Suede

Technical Categories

A lot of categories seem to have come and gone throughout the history of the awards to celebrate particular types of performer. Here are some of the highlights!

Musician of the Year

  • 1952 – Ronnie Scott
  • 1954 – Eric Delaney
  • 1957 – Eddie Calvert

Best Guitarist

  • 1954 – Bert Weedon
  • 1973 – Eric Clapton
  • 1976 – Jimmy Page
  • 1978 – Mick Jones
  • 1979-1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – The Edge

Best Bassist

  • 1973, 1976 – Paul McCartney
  • 1978 – Jean Jacques Burnel
  • 1979-1982 – Bruce Foxton
  • 1983 – Peter Hook

Best Keyboardist/Electronics

  • 1973, 1976-1977 – Rick Wakeman
  • 1978-1981 – Dave Greenfield
  • 1982 – Vince Clarke
  • 1983 – Steve Nieve

Best Drummer

  • 1973, 1975 – Carl Palmer
  • 1976 – John Bonham
  • 1977 – Paul Cook
  • 1978 – Keith Moon
  • 1979-1982 – Rick Buckler
  • 1983 – Budgie

Best Instrumentalist

  • 1962-1963 – Jet Harris
  • 1973 – Roy Wood
  • 1975-1977 – Mike Oldfield
  • 1981 – Saxa
  • 1982 – The Emerald Express, Violin
  • 1983 – The TKO Horns
  • 1985 – Johnny Marr

Best Producer

  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975 – Eddie Offord

Best Songwriter/Composer

  • 1973 – Elton John / Bernie Taupin
  • 1976 – Bob Dylan
  • 1978 – Elvis Costello
  • 1979-1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – Elvis Costello
  • 1984-1985 – Morrissey / Johnny Marr

Best Solo Artist

Curiously, the solo artist categories were for the longest time broken up into “world”, “British”, and even “US” for a while.

Best Female Singer

  • 1952-1954 – Lita Roza
  • 1957 – Ruby Murray
  • 1958 – Alma Cogan
  • 1959-1961 – Connie Francis
  • 1962-1964 – Brenda Lee
  • 1965-1967 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1968 – Lulu
  • 1970 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1971-1973 – Diana Ross
  • 1975 – Joni Mitchell
  • 1976 – Linda Ronstadt
  • 1977 – Julie Covington
  • 1978 – Debbie Harry
  • 1979 – Kate Bush
  • 1981-1983 – Siouxsie Sioux
  • 1984-1986 – Elizabeth Fraser
  • 1987 – Suzanne Vega

Best British Female Singer

  • 1955, 1957 – Alma Cogan
  • 1959-1960 – Shirley Bassey
  • 1961-1962 – Helen Shapiro
  • 1963 – Kathy Kirby
  • 1964-1966 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1968, 1970 – Lulu
  • 1971-1972 – Cilla Black
  • 1973 – Maggie Bell
  • 1975 – Kiki Dee

Best US Female Singer

  • 1955-1957 – Doris Day
  • 1958 – Connie Francis

Best Male Singer

  • 1952-1954 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1955 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1958 – Frankie Vaughan
  • 1959-1962 – Elvis Presley
  • 1963 – Cliff Richard
  • 1964-1972 – Elvis Presley
  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975-1976 – Robert Plant
  • 1977-1978 – David Bowie
  • 1979 – Sting
  • 1980 – Paul Weller
  • 1981 – David Bowie
  • 1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – David Bowie
  • 1984 – Bono
  • 1985-1992 – Morrissey

Best British Male Singer

  • 1955, 1957 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1959-1967 – Cliff Richard
  • 1968-1970 – Tom Jones
  • 1971-1972 – Cliff Richard
  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975 – Paul Rodgers

Best US Male Singer

  • 1955-1956 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1957 – Pat Boone
  • 1958 – Elvis Presley

Outstanding Popular Singer

  • 1955 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1957 – Pat Boone
  • 1958 – Elvis Presley

Best Instrumental Personality

  • 1958 – Eddie Calvert
  • 1959-1960 – Russ Conway
  • 1961 – Bert Weedon

Best Musical Personality

  • 1955 – Bill Haley
  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1957-1959 – Elvis Presley
  • 1960 – Duane Eddy
  • 1961-1972 – Elvis Presley

Best British Musical Personality

  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1957 – Tommy Steele
  • 1958-1959 – Frankie Vaughan
  • 1960 – Lonnie Donegan
  • 1961 – Adam Faith
  • 1962-1963 – Joe Brown
  • 1964 – Cliff Richard
  • 1965 – John Lennon
  • 1966-1972 – Cliff Richard

Genre-Specific Categories

These are just a selection of the categories that relate to a particular genre of music.

Best Soul / Funk Act

  • 1973, 1975 – Stevie Wonder
  • 1984 – Womack & Womack
  • 1985 – Cameo

Best Reggae Act

  • 1984 – Smiley Culture
  • 1985 – UB40

Best R&B / Blues Act

  • 1964-1965 – The Rolling Stones
  • 1966 – Spencer Davis Group
  • 1967-1968 – The Rolling Stones
  • 1970 – Fleetwood Mac

Best Traditional Jazz Act

  • 1961 – Acker Bilk
  • 1962-1963 – Kenny Ball

Best Group

Finally, we reach the categories for best group – of which there are a few.

Best Group

  • 1954 – Stargazers
  • 1955 – Four Aces
  • 1956 – Stargazers
  • 1957 – The Platters
  • 1958-1962 – Everly Brothers
  • 1963-1965 – The Beatles
  • 1966 – The Beach Boys
  • 1967-1970 – The Beatles
  • 1971 – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • 1972 – T. Rex
  • 1973 – Yes
  • 1975 – Roxy Music
  • 1976 – Led Zeppelin
  • 1977 – Sex Pistols
  • 1978 – The Clash
  • 1979-1982 – The Jam
  • 1983 – New Order
  • 1984-1987 – The Smiths
  • 1988 – The Wedding Present
  • 1989 – The Stone Roses
  • 1990 – Happy Mondays
  • 1991-1992 – R.E.M.

Best British Group

  • 1955 – Stargazers
  • 1957 – King Brothers
  • 1958-1959 – The Mudlarks
  • 1960 – King Brothers
  • 1961-1962 – The Springfields
  • 1963-1971 – The Beatles
  • 1972 – T. Rex
  • 1973 – Yes

Best British Small Band

  • 1952 – Johnny Dankworth Seven
  • 1954 – Ronnie Scott and His Orchestra
  • 1955-1957 – The Kirchins
  • 1958-1959 – Lonnie Donegan
  • 1960-1963 – The Shadows

Best British Large Band or Orchestra

  • 1952-1961 – Ted Heath and His Music
  • 1962-1963 – Joe Loss

Best British Instrumental Unit

  • 1964-1971 – The Shadows
  • 1972 – Collective Consciousness Society

Best Live Act

  • 1973 – Alice Cooper (World) & Genesis (British)
  • 1975 – Genesis
  • 1982 – The Jam
  • 1985 – The Pogues

That’s it for now – we’ll continue our journey through the NME Awards soon.

NME Poll Winners – The 1960s

By the 1960s, the names of the NME Poll Winners should be starting to become rather more familiar to you. The timelines are still a bit confusing, with one year apparently missing in its entirety, but hopefully this will make some kind of sense.

1960

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, presented by Connie Francis.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Connie Francis
  • World Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • World Musical Personality: Duane Eddy
  • British Vocal Group: King Brothers
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Ted Heath
  • British Female Singer: Shirley Bassey
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: Lonnie Donegan
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • Best British Disc of the Year: The Shadows, for Apache
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Emile Ford
  • Instrumental Personality: Russ Conway
  • Artist for Poll Concert: Adam Faith
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs

Apache was first released in July 1960, so this is the 1960 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1961.

1961

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, presented by Brenda Lee.

  • World Female Singer: Connie Francis
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • British Vocal Personality: Adam Faith
  • British Vocal Group: The Springfields
  • Instrumental Personality: Bert Weedon
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Ted Heath
  • Best British Disc of the Year: John Leyton, for Johnny Remember Me
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • Artist For Poll Concert: Billy Fury
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Acker Bilk
  • British Female Singer: Helen Shapiro
  • New Disc or TV Singer: John Leyton
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs

Johnny Remember Me was first released in July 1961, so this is the 1961 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1962.

1962

Presented by Roger Moore.

  • World’s Outstanding Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World’s Outstanding Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • World’s Outstanding Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • World’s Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Female Singer: Helen Shapiro
  • British Vocal Group: The Springfields
  • British Vocal Personality: Joe Brown
  • British Solo Instrumentalist: Jet Harris
  • British Large Band/ Orchestra: Joe Loss
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Kenny Ball
  • British Disc Jockey: David Jacobs
  • British New Disc or TV Singer: Frank Ifield
  • British Best Disc in 1962: Frank Ifield, for I Remember You
  • Artist for Poll Concert: Billy Fury

This version of I Remember You was first released in May 1962, so this is the 1962 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1963.

1963

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, 3 May 1964, presented by Roy Orbison.

  • World Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • British Vocal Personality: Joe Brown
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Joe Loss
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Kenny Ball
  • Best British Disc Of The Year: The Beatles, for She Loves You
  • British Female Singer: Kathy Kirby
  • Artist For Poll Concert: Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Gerry Marsden
  • Solo Instrumentalist: Jet Harris

She Loves You was first released in July 1963, so this is the 1963 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1964.

1964

Held at Wembley’s Empire Pool, April 1965, presented by Tony Bennett.

  • Outstanding Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • Outstanding Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • Outstanding Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • British Rhythm and Blues: The Rolling Stones
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • British TV or Radio Programme: Ready Steady Go!
  • British Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • British New Disc or TV Singer: Mick Jagger
  • British Disc This Year: The Animals, for The House of the Rising Sun

The House of the Rising Sun was first recorded by The Animals in May 1964, so this is the 1964 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1965.

1965

Presented by Jimmy Savile.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British R & B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • World Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: John Lennon
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Donovan
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • Best New Group: Seekers
  • Best TV or Radio Show: Top of the Pops
  • Best New Disc of the Year: The Rolling Stones, for (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was first released in June 1965, so this is the 1965 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1966.

1966

Held at Wembley Pool, presented by Jimmy Savile and Simon Dee.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • World Vocal Group: The Beach Boys
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • Best Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • Best R&B Group: Spencer Davis
  • Best TV/Radio Show: Top of the Pops
  • Top Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • New Disc Singer: Stevie Winwood
  • Best New Group: Spencer Davis
  • Best British Disc This Year: The Beatles, for Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby was first released in August 1966, so this is the 1966 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1967.

1967

Presented by Roger Moore.

  • World’s Top Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • Best R & B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Britain’s Top Singer: Cliff Richard
  • World’s Top Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • Top DJs: Jimmy Savile
  • Top TV Show: Top of the Pops
  • Best New Singer: Engelbert Humperdinck
  • Best New Group: Bee Gees

1968

Held at Wembley’s Empire Pool, 11 May 1969, presented by Jimmy Savile and Tony Blackburn.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Lulu
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Female Singer: Lulu
  • Top Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • Best TV/ Radio Show: Top of The Pops
  • Best New Group: Love Affair
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • British R&B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Best British Disc This Year: The Beatles, for Hey Jude
  • British Male Singer: Tom Jones
  • New Disc Singer: Mary Hopkins
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows

Hey Jude was first released in August 1968, so this is the 1968 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1969.

1969

Despite what the NME website says, I don’t believe there was a 1969 poll, hence there being no results to print. The ceremony related to the 1968 poll, detailed above.

See also

Stowaway Heroes – Robert Moog

The last of our Stowaway Heroes for now is one of the fathers of electronic music, Robert Moog. He might not have actually made a lot of music himself, but his fingers have remotely touched more genres than you can name in the last few decades. Here he is, demonstrating his own creation:

Moog famously started out in the 1950s, selling kit Theremins, launching his first modular synthesiser in 1964. After a couple of years of early devices, he met Walter (later WendyCarlos, who provided many people’s first taste of the Moog Synthesizer with Switched-On Bach (1968).

(video removed)

Picking a Moog Synthesizer classic from later in his career is difficult, as his devices turned up on music by everyone from the Beach Boys to Gary Numan. So instead, I think we should keep it predictable, and go with Kraftwerk‘s breakthrough hit from 1974, Autobahn:

Sadly, Robert Moog passed away relatively young in 2005, but his legacy – and company – are still going strong, and you’ll find his sounds throughout the last fifty years or so of pop music. So he’s well-deserving of his place amongst the Stowaway Heroes.

Edited, 11 Feb 2018 – removed Wendy Carlos video that no longer works.

Edited, 25 Feb 2018 – formatting.

Q Awards Winners 1990-2012 (Part One)

Having worked our way through the 1990s, it’s time to come straight up to speed with a look at all of the winners of the Q Awards. There are a lot of them, so I’ve split the list into two parts…

Best Single and Video Awards

After a decade or so of only caring about albums, Q Magazine finally took an interest in singles in 1998, with videos following a couple of years later. Unlike other award ceremonies, they still care.

Best Single / Best Track

  • 1998 – Catatonia – Road Rage
  • 1999 – Travis – Why Does it Always Rain on Me?
  • 2000 – David Gray – Babylon
  • 2001 – Ash – Burn Baby Burn
  • 2002 – Sugababes – Freak Like Me
  • 2003 – Christina Aguilera – Dirrty
  • 2004 – Jamelia – See it in a Boy’s Eyes
  • 2005 – KT Tunstall – Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
  • 2006 – Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
  • 2007 – Manic Street Preachers – Your Love Alone is Not Enough
  • 2008 – Keane – Spiralling
  • 2009 – Lily Allen – The Fear
  • 2010 – Florence + The Machine – You’ve Got the Love
  • 2011 – Adele – Rolling in the Deep
  • 2012 – Plan B – Ill Manors

Q Classic Song

  • 2005 – Ray Davies – Waterloo Sunset
  • 2006 – Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
  • 2007 – Stereophonics – Local Boy in the Photograph
  • 2008 – Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell
  • 2009 – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
  • 2011 – Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
  • 2012 – Dionne Warwick – Walk on By

Best Video

  • 2000 – Kelis – Caught Out There
  • 2001 – Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood
  • 2002 – Pink – Get the Party Started
  • 2003 – Electric Six – Gay Bar
  • 2004 – Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
  • 2005 – Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc
  • 2006 – The Killers – When You Were Young
  • 2007 – Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
  • 2008 – Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
  • 2009 – Lady Gaga – Just Dance
  • 2010 – Chase & Status – End Credits
  • 2011 – Jessie J – Do it Like a Dude
  • 2012 – Keane – Disconnected

Best Album Awards

The Best Album award is one of the few original awards, and seems to tend to go to the top indie album every year…

Best Album

  • 1990 – World Party – Goodbye Jumbo
  • 1991 – R.E.M. – Out of Time
  • 1992 – R.E.M. – Automatic for the People
  • 1993 – Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
  • 1994 – Blur – Parklife
  • 1995 – Blur – The Great Escape
  • 1996 – Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go
  • 1997 – Radiohead – OK Computer
  • 1998 – Massive Attack – Mezzanine
  • 1999 – The Chemical Brothers – Surrender
  • 2000 – Coldplay – Parachutes
  • 2001 – Travis – The Invisible Band
  • 2002 – Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • 2003 – Blur – Think Tank
  • 2004 – Keane – Hopes and Fears
  • 2005 – Oasis – Don’t Believe the Truth
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
  • 2007 – Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
  • 2008 – Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
  • 2009 – Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
  • 2010 – The National – High Violet
  • 2011 – Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  • 2012 – Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe

Best Reissue / Compilation

  • 1990 – Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
  • 1992 – Bob Marley – Songs of Freedom
  • 1993 – Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
  • 1994 – Various Artists – Tougher Than Tough
  • 1995 – Various Artists – Help
  • 1996 – The Beatles – Anthology
  • 1997 – Various Artists – The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers

classic album award

  • 2007 – The Verve – Urban Hymns
  • 2009 – U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
  • 2010 – Wings – Band on the Run
  • 2012 – Manic Street Preachers – Generation Terrorists

One-Off and Occasional Awards

Just in case there wasn’t a way to squeeze U2 into the standard award ceremony, Q have periodically added new ones especially for the Irish four-piece.

Special Award / Q Special Award

  • 1997 – Phil Spector
  • 2001 – Brian Eno
  • 2003 – Scott Walker
  • 2005 – John Lennon

Q People’s Choice Award

  • 2001 – U2
  • 2005 – Oasis
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys

Q Unwanted

  • 2002 – Simon Cowell

Q Birthday Honour

  • 2005 – Michael Eavis

Q Outstanding Performance Award

  • 2006 – Faithless

Q Award of Awards

  • 2006 – U2

Q Groundbreaker Award

  • 2006 – Primal Scream

Q Charity of the Year

  • 2006 – War on Want

Q HERO

  • 2007 – Anthony H. Wilson
  • 2010 – The Chemical Brothers
  • 2012 – Johnny Marr

Q’s Greatest Act of the Last 25 Years

  • 2011 – U2

Q Spirit of Independence

  • 2012 – The Cribs

More next week…

Q Awards 1990-1993

The first couple of years of the Q Awards seem to have been largely forgotten by the internet, falling into that early 90s gap before everything was reported and recorded. With this in mind, here’s everything I could find out about the first few years of the awards…

1990

The inaugural Q Awards were held in October 1990. This much is beyond dispute. Apart from that, though, it isn’t easy to find information about what actually happened.

Best Album

Winner: World Party for Goodbye Jumbo

Best Reissue / Compilation

Winner: Beach Boys for Pet Sounds

Best Live Act

Winner: Rolling Stones

Best Act in the World Today

Winner: U2

Best New Act

Winner: They Might Be Giants

Best Producer

Winner: Paul Oakenfold / Steve Osborne

Songwriter Award

Winner: Prince

Merit Award

Winner: Paul McCartney

1991

October 1991 saw the second ceremony, with the following winners:

Best album

Winner: R.E.M. for Out of Time

Best live act

Winner: Simple Minds

Best Act in the world today

Winner: R.E.M. / U2

Best new act

Winner: Seal

Best producer

Winner: Trevor Horn

Songwriter award

Winner: Richard Thompson

Merit award

Winner: Lou Reed

1992

In October 1992 the third awards ceremony took place. Here’s a picture of Brett Anderson out of Suede at the awards.

BEST ALBUM

Winner: R.E.M. for Automatic for the People

Best reissue / compilation

Winner: Bob Marley for Songs of Freedom

BEST LIVE ACT

Winner: Crowded House

BEST ACT IN THE WORLD TODAY

Winner: U2

BEST NEW ACT

Winner: Tori Amos

BEST PRODUCER

Winner: Daniel Lanois / Peter Gabriel / The Orb

SONGWRITER AWARD

Winner: Neil Finn

Q Inspiration award

Winner: B.B. King

MERIT AWARD

Winner: Led Zeppelin

1993

In October 1993 the fourth awards ceremony took place. Here’s a picture of Brett Anderson again, this time with Morrissey.

BEST ALBUM

Winner: Sting for Ten Summoner’s Tales

BEST REISSUE / COMPILATION

Winner: Beach Boys for Good Vibrations

BEST LIVE ACT

Winner: Neil Young

BEST ACT IN THE WORLD TODAY

Winner: U2

BEST NEW ACT

Winner: Suede

BEST PRODUCER

Winner: Flood / Brian Eno / The Edge

SONGWRITER AWARD

Winner: Neil Finn

Q INSPIRATION AWARD

Winner: Donald Fagen

MERIT AWARD

Winner: Elton John

Epilogue

It would probably help if I had a copy of Q Magazine to hand, so I could tell you a little more about what happened, but unfortunately all my back issues are stored away somewhere half way round the world. I’ll report back, some day in the future…

FURTHER INFORMATION